President Biden said on Saturday that it would not make it easy for Ukraine to join NATO, adding that the country at war with Russia must meet requirements for membership.
“They have to meet the same criteria. I’m not going to make it easier,” Biden told reporters. “I think they’ve done everything to do with demonstrating the ability to coordinate militarily, but there’s a whole problem of is their system secure? Is it non-corrupt? Does it meet all the criteria… that every other country in NATO does.”
He was confident that Ukraine would be able to join. The Baltic states Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are all members of NATO, as is Poland.
“I think they will. I think they can,” Biden said of Ukraine. “But it’s not automatic.”
His comments come after Biden It said He expressed his readiness to remove the members’ action plan hurdle for Ukraine to join NATO, which requires countries wishing to join the alliance to carry out military and democratic reforms.
On Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia’s loss could eventually force the United States to choose between “the collapse of NATO” or going to war.
According to the Treaty Organization’s principle of collective defense, an attack on any NATO member “is considered an attack against all of them.”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met Biden at the White House earlier this week, where they discussed the war in Ukraine and their shared view on Sweden joining the alliance as soon as possible.
The next NATO summit will be held on July 11 in Vilnius, Lithuania.
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